Dewey’s Readathon Wrap-Up!

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The Readathon is over! I had an amazing time while I was Readathoning, even though work got in the way a lot more than I had wanted it to 😦

The good: I felt so relaxed settling down to read and focusing on a few short books that I’ve been eyeing for awhile now. I alternated reading with exploring different blogs and checking out gorgeous Instagram posts, and it was the perfect combination. I also treated myself to some Thai food and hot chocolate (not at the same time). I posted a lot on Instagram and managed to put up a few progress updates on this blog as well. It’s hard to describe how peaceful the Readathon made me feel; it gives me a solid excuse to totally abandon the rest of the world for books for a little while.

The bad: I had to work the morning of the Readathon, which I knew about (and attempted to escape from) ahead of time, and I was also on call all weekend. What I didn’t expect was to field several calls during the day and to get called back into work around midnight, which took up a good two hours of reading time and totally threw me off my game. I was going strong with a great book when I got the call, and when I got back home I was too distracted to fully commit to Readathoning the way I had been doing earlier. I was also really exhausted because I only got about 2 hours of sleep before. I was having a harder time focusing on books than I anticipated because I was so sleepy and read a lot less than I thought I would. So although the Readathon in general was awesome, it was bad timing for me this year.

Here’s my post-Readathon survey!

Which hour was most daunting for you?

1:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. I ended up getting called into work late last night, and when I got back I had totally lost my reading focus–I was in the middle of A History of Glitter and Blood when I left and had trouble getting back into the zone when I got back. I ended up needing to switch to my audiobook.

Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

I think faster-paced, absorbing books are best for the Readathon. Short books work well too. Here are some that I didn’t use for the Readathon but wish that I had:

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire, Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, anything by Ilona Andrews, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, The Rook by Daniel O’Malley, Texts from Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg (this would be literally perfect, maybe I’ll reread it for next Readathon! It’s a short read and hilarious)

Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next season?

No! I thought it was fantastic. Everyone was so engaged with reading and talking books.

What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

All of it?

How many books did you read?

I finished 3 short books/graphic novels, read a decent chunk of a YA novel, and listened to about 3 hours of my audiobook.

What were the names of the books you read?

Finished:

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

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Through the Woods by Emily Caroll

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Fables, Volume 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham

Read part of:

A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz

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Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson

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Which book did you enjoy most?

I loved Kindred Spirits–it was a perfect Readathon read. Quick, very cute, and nerdy in a great way. I also am getting really drawn into the world of A History of Glitter and Blood. It’s YA but definitely skews older–it deals heavily with teen prostitution and dismemberment is another key theme. It’s a very dark story about fairies told in an atypical way.

Which did you enjoy least?

Fables. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work that well for me. I love anything fairytale-related, but it just didn’t feel original enough to me. I’m not in love with detective-type formats in general; it’s just not my genre.

How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

I’m already getting excited for the next Readathon on October 22nd!!! For next time, I’m planning on taking off work for sure instead of trying to switch shifts so that I don’t run into the issues I had this time around. I might try to incorporate a spooky/horror theme for the season.

So, another awesome Readathon ends! Now I’m getting pumped for Bout of Books, a week-long reading challenge that lasts from May 9-15. If you’re in the middle of a Readathon hangover, you might want to check it out (http://boutofbooks.blogspot.com/).

 

How did everyone else’s Readathons go? I can’t wait to check out all of your blog posts!

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon: Halfway Update

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Halfway through the Readathon! Although it doesn’t really feel that way, since I started so late. I feel like Dewey’s came at a great time this year, and I love the feeling of letting everything fall away for a certain number of hours and just focusing on bookishness.

Here are my responses to the mid-readathon survey!

1. What are you reading right now?

I’m currently reading A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz, which is turning out to be a very dark, fairy-focused YA novel set before/during/after a violent conflict between fairies, gnomes, and another group of beings called “tightropers.” It’s written in an interesting way–the “author” keeps jumping in and commenting on how badly they’re telling the story in between the third person narration, and there are excerpts from other books made to look like they’ve been taped in. I really like the style and dark tone. Don’t let the sparkles fool you on this one.

A History of Glitter and Blood
2. How many books have you read so far?

I’ve finished 3 so far! All were shorter books, which I think I needed due to how sleepy I am. But I’ve also listened to about 1.5 hours of my audiobook and read the first few chapters of A History of Glitter and Blood. Here’s what I’ve read:

Kindred Spirits

Through the Woods

Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

I’m looking forward to getting deeper into A History of Glitter and Blood, which I’d ideally like to finish during the Readathon. I’m also planning on reading some of Mr. Splitfoot, which I’m about 50 pages into but haven’t read any of during the Readathon so far. I may also pick up Volume 2 of Fables to switch it up. And definitely more audiobooking with Yes, Chef.
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

I went into the Readathon knowing that I’d be missing out on the first 5-6 hours due to work and that I would probably get interruptions since I’m on call tonight, so I guess I dealt with them by being prepared and planning on just enjoying the time that I do have to participate! It’s still been a huge chunk of uninterrupted reading time for me and it’s been awesome.
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

I was planning on devoting most of my time to full-length books, but it’s turned out that I’ve read one short novella and 2 graphic novels. But I also feel like that’s helped me keep my momentum going. Also, I haven’t eaten any of my Readathon snacks! (Instead I ate lots of Thai food. No regrets there).

 

How has everyone’s Readathon been going???

Dewey’s Readathon Update #1: Hour 8

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Hour: 8

Books finished: 2

Time spent reading: 3 hours (I was at work for 5 of the hours!)

So far, the Readathon is off to a great start, despite some setbacks! Namely, my insomniac tendencies decided to go crazy last night, and I only got a few hours’ sleep before I had to go to work this morning. However, I got a full hour of audiobook time in during my commute (Yes, Chef is heating up–it’s now the early ’90’s and Marcus Samuelsson is in New York City for the first time), grabbed some Thai food on the way home, and started hardcore Readathoning pretty much immediately. Now my main fear is falling asleep. I don’t want to waste valuable Readathon time napping!

 

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The first book I finished for the Readathon was Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell (pictured here with the tiniest, cutest plant in the world that I found at Trader Joe’s). It was sweet and Rainbow Rowell-ish, and made me want to watch the new Star Wars movie for the third time. Not today, though! Today is devoted to the Readathon.

Through the Woods

And I just finished my second book of the Readathon, a graphic novel called Through the Woods by Emily Caroll. I went in with low expectations but ended up extremely impressed by the gorgeous artwork and old-fashioned vibe of the five horror stories. I would not, however, call this a scary book. Just a very pretty and interesting one.

 

How is everyone’s Readathon going so far???

Dewey’s Readathon Goals and Game Plan

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So I already posted my TBR post for Dewey’s Readathon this Saturday (here: https://beachesandbooks.wordpress.com/2016/04/20/deweys-24-hour-readathon-tbr/), but I also wanted a space to lay out my Readathon game plan. Much like my TBR lists, my bookish game plans tend to fall apart, but it doesn’t mean it’s not fun to make them!

This is only my second Dewey’s Readathon, but I had so much fun with the first one I joined in October. It’s when I really got into the zone with Bookstagram and my book blog, and helped me dive into the bookish community and see what a friendly and wonderful place it is. It also made me immediately resolve to make the Readathon a bookish tradition for myself!

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Game Plan:

My Readathon start time is 8 a.m., which would normally work out quite well, but I actually have to work from about 8:30 until around 2 (I hope! There’s a chance I might need to stay later) so I have to postpone the start of my physical book-reading until the afternoon. I’m planning on audiobooking during my commute to and from work, which should give me around an hour of audiobook time before I can tackle the rest of my TBR. I’m bummed that I have to work–I did try to switch shifts, but unfortunately I got stuck. So I’m trying to make the most of it! It’s a good thing I’m super into my audiobook, because it’s been making my commute better all week. I’m about 1/3 of the way through Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson, and I highly recommend it so far!

Yes, Chef

 

The second I get home, I’m planning on diving into full-on Readathon mode and not surrendering until I get into the Sunday a.m. hours. (Although I am also on call for work, so there is a chance I may have to go back for a bit, in which case more audiobook time!) I don’t plan on staying awake the entire 24 hours, because I am already an insomniac and can’t afford to have my sleep schedule thrown off anymore than it already is, but I think I’ll try to make it until 2 or 3 a.m. I know, it’s not hardcore, but it’s ambitious enough for me!

I feel like varying reading locations will be key to help prevent me from napping and missing reading time, so I’m going to be switching it up between my couch, my floor, and my roof–it’s supposed to be fairly nice out on Saturday, so some outside reading time might be nice!

Food-wise, I’m excited about the green tea chai latte mix I picked up at Trader Joe’s, because there’s nothing like reading with a delicious hot drink (even if it’s nice outside, it lets you pretend you’re snowed in with a book). I’m also thinking about ordering Thai food so I don’t have to cook anything, and also because I’m obsessed with Thai food.

Goals:

Finish 3 books. This is totally doable, considering the shortness of the books I picked out!

Don’t nap. I’m afraid I’m going to fall asleep accidentally, and that is not allowed to happen! I can sleep when I’m done Readathoning but not before.

And that’s pretty much it! I’m planning on Instagramming a lot (@beachesnbooks, if you’re on Instagram!), blogging a lot, reading a lot of other blog posts, and just enjoying the fact that some amazing people worked hard to create and promote such an awesome event.

Happy Readathon to everyone participating tomorrow!

 

 

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon TBR!

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I am so, so excited for the Readathon on Saturday! I hope everyone is having fun coming up with their TBR stacks; I know I’ve been agonizing over it for awhile, even though I am notorious for abandoning TBR plans. My main issue in coming up with this one is that I keep getting impatient and reading books that sound too good to wait for (first it was Nimona, then Every Heart a Doorway; now I’m officially cutting myself off). But I finally got a good stack together, and I’m really excited to jump in this weekend. Ranked in the order of most to least likely to read, here is my official readathon TBR:

 

Kindred SpiritsThrough the WoodsA Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile

A History of Glitter and BloodMr. SplitfootYes, ChefUnaccustomed Earth

 

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell – this is a very short book (novella? short story? I’m not sure what you’d technically call it) that bookstagrammer @thewayfaringbookworm was nice enough to send me an extra copy of after she was sent extras by the publisher (thank you sooo much!!!). I’ve tried not to read too much about it because it’s so short and I don’t want to spoil the reading experience, but I know it’s about Star Wars and that there’s a romance element. It sounds very cute and I’m looking forward to kicking off the Readathon with this one.

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll – reading a graphic novel worked out well for me in last year’s Readathon, and this one consists of five horror short stories. I was going to read Nimona for my graphic novel, but, um, I finished it already (oops) (no regrets, it was awesome).

Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson – this is my audiobook of choice for the Readathon. I was listening to Jackaby, but it got boring (sadface) and I decided to DNF. Then I tried to get the audiobook of Notorious RBG from my library, but there’s a waiting list (sadface again), so Yes, Chef it is! I don’t know if I’ve talked about this on this blog before, but I’m a big fan of Top Chef and the Food Network (I love having the Food Network on low volume in the background while I read; I find it relaxing) and Marcus Samuelsson is one of my favorite celebrity chefs. He always comes across as very intelligent and well-spoken, and I’m glad that he narrates his own book because he has a fantastic voice. Also, this will count as my “food memoir” for the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (reread) – I read this and really enjoyed it last year, particularly the last section of the book when Feyre is at the evil queen’s court. I was thinking that I’d like to reread some parts of it before the sequel, A Court of Mist and Fury, comes out in early May. I am definitely not going to reread the entire book.

A History of Glitter and Blood by Hannah Moskowitz – this is the book I know the least about, and I’m trying to keep it that way. I’ve read several incredibly glowing reviews that all seem to touch on how weird it is, and saw a bunch of one-star reviews on Goodreads given for the same reason. Well, I like weird. And I like stories about the Fae. So I’m crossing my fingers that this will be one that I’ll like and not DNF after a few chapters, like I do with a lot of YA.

Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt – I’ve still barely started this book, and I still think I’m really going to enjoy it; I just haven’t yet been in the mood to delve deep into it. That might happen this week; in an ideal world, I could get absorbed in this book before the Readathon starts and use it as a book to finish up or read a bit of to add some more serious reading in with all of my YA and graphic novels.

Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham – I decided I should have a backup graphic novel in case I get into a graphic novelish mood, since they are short and I could easily breeze through two in a couple of hours. I love anything fairytale retelling-related, and I’ve heard really great things about this series. And hey, if I like it, I could continue with the series during Bout of Books in May!

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri – I wanted a book of short stories as an option for the Readathon, but was hesitant to start yet another book because I seem to have caught some sort of book-starting disease and have about five going already right now. I actually started reading this book three or four years ago, and got so emotionally invested in one of the stories that I had to stop reading halfway through and put in on pause. I wasn’t expecting that pause to last years, but it has, and this book has been on my bedside table that entire time. I think short stories are a good way to add some variety to the Readathon, and I am ready to actually finish this book.

 

Also, if I hit a slump and nothing is working for me, I could always try one of these (although I doubt it! I feel like my list is pretty darn good) (plus I think I’m going to be saving these for Bout of Books):

The Good GirlCity of Dark Magic (City of Dark Magic, #1)Death My Own WayLeo@Fergusrules.Com: A Novel

 

 

So who will be participating in the Readathon on Saturday? What are you all reading? I can’t wait to find out!

Feel free to post a link to your Readathon TBR posts in the comments, I’d love to check them out!!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books that Will Make You Laugh

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish (http://www.brokeandbookish.com/p/top-ten-tuesday-other-features.html).

I don’t read a lot of straight-up humor books, so this post should probably more accurately be called “Ten Awesome Books that Also Happen to Have Really Funny Parts.” I also included funny quotes!

 

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

  1. Good Omens: This is a wonderful, wonderful book co-written by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. It’s a hilarious account of the impending apocalypse and the main characters are an angel and demon who are best friends. Funny quote (long, sorry):

“I mean, d’you know what eternity is? There’s this big mountain, see, a mile high, at the end of the universe, and once every thousand years there’s this little bird-“

“What little bird?” said Aziraphale suspiciously.

“This little bird I’m talking about. And every thousand years-“

“The same bird every thousand years?”

Crowley hesitated. “Yeah,” he said.

“Bloody ancient bird, then.”

“Okay. And every thousand years this bird flies-“

“-limps-“

“-flies all the way to this mountain and sharpens its beak-“

“Hold on. You can’t do that. Between here and the end of the universe there’s loads of-” The angel waved a hand expansively, if a little unsteadily. “Loads of buggerall, dear boy.”

“But it gets there anyway,” Crowley persevered.

“How?”

“It doesn’t matter!”

“It could use a space ship,” said the angel.

Crowley subsided a bit. “Yeah,” he said. “If you like. Anyway, this bird-“

“Only it is the end of the universe we’re talking about,” said Aziraphale. “So it’d have to be one of those space ships where your descendants are the ones who get out at the other end. You have to tell your descendants, you say, When you get to the Mountain, you’ve got to-” He hesitated. “What have
they got to do?”

“Sharpen its beak on the mountain,” said Crowley. “And then it flies back-“

“-in the space ship-“

“And after a thousand years it goes and does it all again,” said Crowley quickly.

There was a moment of drunken silence.

“Seems a lot of effort just to sharpen a beak,” mused Aziraphale.

“Listen,” said Crowley urgently, “the point is that when the bird has worn the mountain down to nothing, right, then-“

Aziraphale opened his mouth. Crowley just knew he was going to make some point about the relative hardness of birds’ beaks and granite mountains, and plunged on quickly.

“-then you still won’t have finished watching The Sound of Music.”

Aziraphale froze.

“And you’ll enjoy it,” Crowley said relentlessly. “You really will.”

“My dear boy-“

“You won’t have a choice.”

“Listen-“

“Heaven has no taste.”

“Now-“

“And not one single sushi restaurant.”

A look of pain crossed the angel’s suddenly very serious face.”

The Magicians (The Magicians, #1)

2. The Magicians by Lev Grossman – this tends to be a love it or hate it book, and I am firmly on Team Love It. The humor in this book is very dark and subtle, which is perfect for the theme of growing up and finding yourself disillusioned with your childhood fantasies. Funny quote:

“Josh speculated about the hypothetical contents of an imaginary porn magazine for intelligent trees that would be entitled Enthouse.”

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)

3. The Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews: these books are full of action, romance, and friendship, but they are also ridiculously hilarious. Kate, the main character, has an inability to react to situations without sarcasm and tends to mock every adversary and authority figure she comes into contact with. Funny quote:

“I gave him my best cryptic smile. He did not fall down to his feet, kiss my shoes, and promise me the world. I must be getting rusty.”

The Library at Mount Char

4. The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins: if you like fantasy and dark humor, then this one is for you. It borders on the absurd at times, and the humor helps keep all of the craziness grounded–to a point. Funny quote:

“There might be others,” Alicia said. “Some of the ones we don’t see much. Q-33 North, maybe?” But she was looking at Nobununga, thoughtful.
“Is he the one with the tentacles?”
“No, that’s Barry O’Shea. Q-33 North is the sort of iceberg with legs, remember? Up in Norway?”
“Oh, right.”

The Rook (The Checquy Files, #1)

5. The Rook by Daniel O’Malley: This is a recent read and I’ve been posting about it nonstop. It’s about a secret government agency in London called the Checquy protecting England against mysterious supernatural threats, and for all the life-or-death situations present in the book, it also manages to have a constant snarky humor that keeps you from taking it all too seriously but lets you get invested enough to really care about all of the characters. That’s a delicate balance to strike! Funny quote:

“And the minibar in my hotel room was mysteriously emptied.”
“By arcane forces beyond the understanding of normal human beings?” asked Myfanwy as she sifted through the in-box. It was the sort of question you learned to ask automatically when you worked with the Checquy.
“No, it was me,” admitted Shantay without a shred of embarrassment.”

The Martian

6. The Martian by Andy Weir

“He’s stuck out there. He thinks he’s totally alone and that we all gave up on him. What kind of effect does that have on a man’s psychology?” He turned back to Venkat. “I wonder what he’s thinking right now.”

LOG ENTRY: SOL 61 How come Aquaman can control whales? They’re mammals! Makes no sense.”

Ready Player One

7. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

“Going outside is highly overrated.”
In a Sunburned Country
8. In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson: hilarious nonfiction that also teaches you a lot about Australia.
“Australians are very unfair in this way. They spend half of any conversation insisting that the country’s dangers are vastly overrated and that there’s nothing to worry about, and the other half telling you how six months ago their Uncle Bob was driving to Mudgee when a tiger snake slid out from under the dashboard and bit him on the groin, but that it’s okay now because he’s off the life support machine and they’ve discovered he can communicate with eye blinks.”
Small Gods (Discworld, #13)
9. Small Gods by Terry Pratchett
“His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools — the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans — and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, ‘You can’t trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there’s nothing you can do about it, so let’s have a drink.”
The Princess Bride
10. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
“We’ll never survive!”
“Nonsense. You’re only saying that because no one ever has.”
What are your favorite funny books?

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog  and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

 

To summarize: my reading week rocked!

My reading this week made me so happy–I read two absolutely fantastic books this week! I am now going to start recommending them all over the place.

Books I finished this week:

 

Wide Sargasso Sea

Every Heart a Doorway

 

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys: the language of this book is lyrical, and not a single word is wasted. I kept rereading sentences because of how beautiful the writing was, and it took me much longer to read this than I thought it would because I wanted to savor it. It’s a feminist reinterpretation of the “madwoman in the attic” aspect of Jane Eyre, and it discusses racism and sexism, both insidious and overt, through the story of Antoinette Cosway, daughter of Jamaican slave owners, who is later sold into marriage with a calculating Englishman. The story is incredibly sad and disturbing, but it feels like a very necessary discussion of the rarely explored aspects of classic literature.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire: I become very easily hooked by any type of exploration of the fantasy/fairy tale genre, and this book was exactly what I wanted to read. The children in this book have all been involved in portal fantasy scenarios (where they have left the real world through magical doorways and emerged into their own fantasylands) but then, for various reasons, have returned (typically, they’ve been forced to return) to reality. I absolutely loved the hints at the different worlds the children went to, and I found the two main characters, Nancy and Kade, to be both intriguing and relatable. I really wish we’d gotten flashbacks to their times in their respective fantastical worlds, though. The hints were not enough! To be honest, I’d have read a much longer book on all of this and loved it, but the novella length did work well as it is.

But I still wish it was longer.

 

Reading now:

Reflections (Indexing, #2)Mr. SplitfootYes, Chef

I bought the ebook of the second installment in Seanan McGuire’s Indexing series, which is about secret government agents dealing with out-of-control and deadly fairy tales snaring unsuspecting civilians. I was so pleasantly surprised by the first book (which is just called Indexing, and I highly recommend it) and I like this one so far as well, although it isn’t quite as surprising since a lot of the fun of the worldbuilding was already accomplished previously.

Sadly, I DNF’d Jackaby, the audiobook I was listening to for the past few weeks (yet another abandoned audiobook for me, oh well). Then today I started listening to Yes, Chef, which is a memoir by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson. So far I love it.

And still at the beginning of Mr. Splitfoot!

 

Looking forward to:

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon on Saturday! This week I’ll be posting about my TBR stack and Readathon plans. I can’t wait to hear about everyone else’s Readathoning as well.

 

What are you all reading this week?

(Belatedly Joining) Once Upon a Time Reading Challenge!

 

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I found out about this reading challenge, which lasts from March 21st until June 21st, from reading other book blogs. And I decided (very belatedly) that I really want to join! To participate, all you need is a loose commitment to read at least one book from the genres of fantasy, folklore, fairy tales, or mythology; it’s a very low-pressure challenge, and there are several different options depending on how far you want to immerse yourself. You can find all about the challenge here: http://www.stainlesssteeldroppings.com/once-upon-a-time-x

 

out10first

 

I decided that I’ll be participating in Quest the First: to read five books that fit within any of the four different categories. I’ve been in such a fantasy-reading mood lately that I think it’s a very doable challenge, and I’ll expand on it for myself to read as many books as I can within those genres. Maybe 10? I think I can get to 10 🙂 especially if I count retroactively.

 

Every Heart a Doorway

 

I just started a book that fits in perfectly with this challenge: Seanan McGuire’s Every Heart a Doorway. It takes place at a “home for wayward children” that actually houses children who have recently returned to reality from time spent in fantasy realms and are having difficulty adjusting to the loss of associated with that. I’m only at the beginning, but I absolutely love the concept.

Here are some of my TBR book options for the challenge:

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)The Girl Wakes: StoriesA History of Glitter and BloodFables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile

Through the WoodsCity of Dark Magic (City of Dark Magic, #1)Leo@Fergusrules.Com: A NovelGet in Trouble: Stories

Gods Behaving BadlyLittle, BigMr. SplitfootRoses and Rot

 

 

Are any of you participating? Any book recommendations in fantasy/folklore/mythology/fairy tales? Let me know!

 

Recent Bookish Events: Adventures at a Small Press Book Fair and a Reading with N.K. Jemisin!

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Something I’ve realized over the past few years is how much I absolutely love attending bookish events. Readings, library book sales, author speaking series–it never fails to reignite my passion for books, reading, and writing. I was able to hear Kelly Link read from her newest short story collection Get in Trouble last winter, and this year I was able to listen to both Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Dinaw Mengestu speak about their lives, their writing, and current social and political issues during the Babel reading series in my city. I also went to hear Alyssa Palombo, a local author, read from her novel The Violinist of Venice at a local independent bookstore, and although historical romance isn’t typically my genre, I was very intrigued by the concept and added yet another book to my TBR.

 

largeBSPBF

 

Last weekend, I was able to make it to the 10th annual Buffalo Small Press Book Fair, and I really wish I had known about it the nine previous years as well. It’s a very friendly community event geared toward all things bookish: it includes local small presses, authors, comics artists, and bookish crafts.

Because I physically cannot be around books without buying some of them, I picked up 3 books at the BSPBF:

 

The Girl Wakes: StoriesDeath My Own WayLeo@Fergusrules.Com: A Novel

 

I picked up two of the books at the Leapfrog Press booth, where they had amazing prices and fascinatingly weird story concepts. I was told that I shouldn’t pick up anything by author Michael Graziano if I didn’t like weird books, so I immediately grabbed one of his called Death My Own Way. I was also enticed to pick up leo@fergusrules.com by Arne Tangherlini because it was described to me as “Alice in Wonderland on the internet.” I mean, obviously I need to read that right away. And I absolutely cannot wait to start reading The Girl Wakes by Carmen Lau, which I found at the Alternating Current Press booth–it’s a fantasy short story collection featuring female-centric fairy tales. I also picked up the gorgeous bag in the picture from artist Claudia E. Berger.

Being at the small press book fair made me realize that I haven’t been paying enough attention to the importance of reading books published by local authors and independent presses. I feel like it’s difficult to break out of the habit of reading highly promoted new releases and books already famous, but I’d like to try. So, one of my bookish goals for the rest of the year, and carrying over into next year, will be to track down and read more lesser-known small press books.

 

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I didn’t realize until recently that I’d completely forgotten to blog about another recent bookish event–I was able to hear N.K. Jemisin, one of my absolute favorite authors, read her newest soon-to-be-released short story! I don’t want to give away too much (she told us that it would be published in the next few months by Tor.com) but it’s a contemporary fantasy set in New York, and the main character is a young homeless man coming to awareness of the ancient threat facing his city.

I also was able to meet N.K. Jemisin and asked her to sign my copy of The Fifth Season, during which I completely geeked out and had no idea what to say to her. I was totally intimidated by her awesomeness.

 

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What bookish events have you all attended lately? I’d love to hear about them!

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog  and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date

 

It’s Monday, and I’m actually doing pretty decent on my April TBR list! Here’s what I managed to finish this week:

Nimona by Noelle StevensonMarked in Flesh by Anne BishopThe Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Shockingly, I was able to finish reading Marked in Flesh in time to return it to the library…only three days overdue :-/ But it could have been a lot worse!

I finally got around to reading The Yellow Wallpaper, which is actually a short story, although I downloaded it as a free standalone ebook, so…apparently I’m counting it as a book?

And…Nimona!!! I’ll add a longer review later, but I liked this so much more than I thought I was going to. I had actually intended on saving it for Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon later this month, but I got too impatient and went ahead and read it.

 

Right now, I’m in the middle of three books:

Wide Sargasso SeaMr. SplitfootJackaby (Jackaby, #1)

 

Wide Sargasso Sea is the one I’m most focused on right now, and I have to say that the writing is absolutely incredible. Every sentence is so thoughtfully constructed and the language is dense and evocative. It’s a short book but I’m reading it very slowly due to its density and overall amazingness.

I just BARELY started Mr. Splitfoot, but I’m able to tell pretty quickly whether or not I’m clicking with a book. (Reading is a lot like dating in that way.) And I am absolutely hitting it off with this book so far. I can’t wait to get more invested in this book, but that will have to wait until I finish Wide Sargasso Sea, which is sort of consuming my reading thoughts at the moment.

 

Speaking of consuming my reading thoughts, I’ve been obsessing (a lot) about my reading game plan for Dewey’s Readathon. I have way too many book ideas for such a short period of time, but I’m rationalizing it because Bout of Books is coming up in May, and anything I don’t read for Dewey’s can just roll over into that readathon instead 🙂

 

 

What is everyone reading this Monday??

I write about nontraditional beach reads for nontraditional readers